Serological investigation: here is the campaign of the Ministry and the Red Cross

Serological investigation: here is the campaign of the Ministry and the Red Cross

The serological campaign of the Ministry of Health began on 25 May in collaboration with Istat and the Red Cross to understand how many people have contracted the coronavirus in Italy and if they have developed antibodies. Adhesion is still low.


The sample serological investigation

Since 25 May, 150,000 Italians have been involved in the serological survey on Covid -19 .

Promoted by the Ministry of Health, on the recommendation of the Technical-Scientific Committee , the campaign involves a sample of residents in two thousand different municipalities, a sample selected by Istat to be representative of the entire Italian population.

The objective of the investigation is to understand how many people have developed antibodies to the coronavirus, even in the absence of symptoms . In addition, the investigation aims to obtain information necessary to estimate the size and extent of the infectionin the population and describe its frequency in relation to some factors such as sex, age, region of origin, economic activity.

How the serological test works

The selected citizens are contacted by the Italian Red Cross to make an appointment for the test (free of charge), which consists of a small blood sample. At the time of contact, you will also be asked to answer a specific questionnaire .

The competent Region will then communicate the result to each participant within 15 days of the test. In the event of a positive diagnosis, the person concerned will be placed in temporary home isolation and contacted to have a nasopharyngeal swab to check for any contagious state.

The difference in fact is that the serological test allows us to identify the presence of antibodies produced by our immune system in response to the virus, whileThe nasopharyngeal swab is an examination used to search for the virus and therefore to diagnose the infection in progress.

The importance of participation in the serological test

“ To obtain reliable and useful results it is essential that the people selected for the sample join. Participating is not compulsory, but knowing the epidemiological situation in our country is useful for each of us ”: this is how the communication campaign implemented by the Ministry of Health states .

Only those who have been selected by Istat will be able to participate: it is not possible, in fact, to be included in the sample on request . Furthermore, to get the first information it is not necessary to wait for the results of all 150 thousand tests: Istat informs that an anticipatory sample of about 20 thousand units is sufficient.

But, despite the importance of participation,in the first few days only 25 percent of the sample said yes to the first contact test while over 60 percent of people asked to be contacted for various reasons and about 15 percent said they were inclined, but that for the moment it is still evaluating. In addition, the more than 700 Red Cross volunteers engaged in phone calls must convince users that this is not a scam .

Coronavirus: It is important not to let your guard down

The study will be useful for epidemiological purposes , as the Spallanzani Institute makes known, and not – as some may think – for the single individual: in fact, knowing whether one has contracted the virus or not does not guarantee an immunity license .

As the Higher Health Council also pointed out , ” we still know too little about the response of our immune system “.

What is certain is that in terms of the number of citizens contacted, Lombardy will naturally be in first place, with over 30 thousand withdrawals. Followed by Veneto (13 thousand), Emilia Romagna (12 thousand), Campania, Lazio and Sicily (over 11 thousand), Piedmont (10 thousand) and then the other regions, up to Valle d’Aosta, where over 4 thousand citizens will be contacted. The choice of where to concentrate more tests of this type depends on both the demographics and the estimates of the pervasiveness of the virus at the territorial level.

” The virus still circulates “ is the message of the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza on the day of the reopening of the borders between the regions . “But thanks to the things we have done in recent weeks, we certainly have a better epidemiological picture “.

In the meantime, to keep alive the relationship between institutions and citizens,the Ministry has collected on its website a series of questions and answers relating to the ongoing investigation .

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